TCE ForumWhats NewSearchOrders


The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 18 (2013) pp 099-103
DOI 10.1007/s0089713248077

Solvent Effects on Electronic Absorption: Positive and Negative Solvatochromism

Sarah J. Schmidtke Sobeck

Department of Chemistry, College of Wooster, 943 College Mall, Wooster, OH 44691 USA,
Received December 20, 2012. Accepted February 23, 2013.

Published: 3 May 2013

Abstract. A combined experimental and theoretical experiment examining the solvent-dependent electronic transitions of two dye molecules is reported. Experimentally the solvatochromic shifts are measured for Michler’s ketone and Reichardt’s dye. The experimental electronic spectra are considered in the context of solvent properties and quantum calculations of the dyes. Comparisons are made between different levels of theories, and molecular orbitals involved in the spectral transitions are visualized. Coupling computational and spectroscopic methods allows for a comprehensive analysis of the solvent-solute interactions by providing both bulk and molecular level pictures of the chemical system. This experiment is designed for an upper level physical chemistry laboratory.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; physical chemistry; quantum mechanics; electronic spectroscopy & quantum calculations; laboratory activity; solvatochromism

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (248 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Sample student laboratory handouts, instructor notes, representative data, and computational input files (606 KB).

The Chemical Educator 1996-2015